Publishing Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement
1. Publishing ethics
— The ethics policy of the Physics of Complex Systems is based on the guidelines by major international organisations focusing on scholarly publication ethics.
Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines:
- Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors;
- Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing;
- Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers;
The editorial ethics standards outlined in his document are mandatory for all individuals who take part in the publishing process, including authors, reviewers, members of the Editorial Office and representatives of the publishing house. In case of a suspected violation of any of these principles, the Editorial Office will follow COPE guidelines.
The Editorial Office commits to follow the Code of Conduct developed by the Committee on Publication Ethics and expects the same commitment from its authors.
— Each member of the Editorial Board and each expert-reviewer have an obligation to reveal all and any cases of misconduct or unethical behaviour they come across or find out about and bring them to attention of the editor and publisher. Whoever informs the editor or publisher of unethical behaviour should provide sufficient evidence and facts for an investigation to be initiated.
— If cases of misconduct have been revealed and convincingly proven, the editor or publisher shall have a right to place a formal embargo on the author’s further publications in the journal or on a peer-reviewer/member of the Editorial Board’s further involvement in reviewing and expert evaluations; also, the employers of these persons have to be informed of the event along with professional associations and/or groups to which they are members.
— Neither discrimination of authors on grounds of gender, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs, ethnic or geographical origin nor calls for such discrimination in submitted papers shall be tolerated.
— Cogent criticism of published materials is welcome and is published in the journal, except when the editors have strong reasons why they cannot publish it. The authors of the papers under criticism should be always given a chance to respond.
2. Issues concerning publication and authorship
— All received papers have to be original and submitted for publication for the first time ever. We never accept papers already published elsewhere except for reprinting materials which have relevant scientific value but which were published in periodicals that have already become bibliographic rarities. We allow to publish translations of own articles previously published in another language if the translation rights do not belong to another publisher.
— Preprint publication on the author’s personal website, institutional repository or a non-profit preprint archive (e.g. arXiv.org) is not considered prior publication. However, when submitting your article please indicate any preprints, provide links thereto and attach information regarding any copyright transfer or license conditions. Please also state whether the article has been amended.
When submitting an article that has been published as a preprint, authors should be aware that reviewers may identify them as authors based on the preprint. In such an event, the Editorial Office cannot ensure the double blind nature of the review.
After the article is submitted for publication, the authors are no longer allowed to publish additional versions of the article as preprints.
When circulating the published paper, the authors are recommended to use the DOI and link to the final published version, including stating this data in archival preprint versions.
— All papers submitted to the editors are necessarily checked for improper borrowings. If plagiarism, unreliable or falsified scientific data are found in an article it is also rejected.
— A published article will be retracted in the following cases:
- Reveal of earlier duplicate publications, with over 70% of the text copied into the newer article. To avoid this, do not submit one article to several journals;
- Reveal of flawed, doctored or fake data;
- Reveal of errors that undermine the article’s scientific value;
- Reveal of an undisclosed conflict of interests or other infringements of publishing ethics.
— It is obligatory that each and every article submitted to the editors for publication should contain a list of references along with information on financial support, if any, provided for the research and for the resulting paper.
3. Authors’ rights and responsibilities
— The list of authors should include all individuals who made significant contributions to the publication, including research concept and design, data gathering, analysis and interpretation, draft preparation and scientific editing as well as final approval of the paper before submission. No ‘nominal’ authorship is allowed, i. e. when someone is included in the list of the paper’s authors without actually having taken any part in the research or writing of the article.
— By submitting the article to the Editorial Board, the authors accept the terms of the license agreement. All co-authors should be familiar with the final text of the article and agree to the publication.
— Authors should ensure: a) that all data used in the paper have been obtained as the result of an objective scientific investigation, b) had academic novelty of the study, c) its methodological substantiation and d) trueness-to-fact.
— If significant mistakes or inaccuracies are found in the paper at the stage of its consideration or after its publication, the author immediately notifies the editors of the journal.
— Each and every author has the right to partake in the process of peer-reviewing. Within a calendar month of the date of the article submission, he/she has a right to inquire about the editor’s decision: whether his/her article is accepted, rejected or considered as needing further modification and improvement. The author receives notifications at all stages of work with his article. Based on the outcomes of the review process, the author is informed of the reviewers’ opinion and comments.
— If an author does not accept the editor’s decision, he/she has a right to submit a reasonable appellation against such decision. Each case is passed on to and considered by the Editorial Board with participation of an expert who has not dealt with the article before. This new expert is commissioned a new peer-review of the paper not knowing the text of the previous one.
4. Responsibilities of reviewers
— A peer-reviewer’s inferences and opinions have to be well-grounded; no value judgments are allowed without reliance upon facts or logic. The experts have to opine professionally and with tolerance on any scientifically proven conclusions of an author even if the entire latter’s study or any of its parts and sections may seem to be in disagreement with the reviewer’s ethical principles.
— A reviewer must not have any conflict of interests in respect of the paper under review, its author/s and/or its sponsors. Where conflicts of interest may arise (official subordination of the author and reviewer, scientific supervision, co-authors, etc.), the reviewer must refuse to participate in the review, notifying the editors of the conflict of interest.
— A reviewer must specify any published materials pertaining to the subject-matter of the paper under review that have not been cited in it, if such publications are known to him.
— Reviewing of articles should be confidential (double-blind peer-review). The reviewer should not disclose information obtained during the review or use it to his advantage.
5. Editors’ rights and responsibilities
— An Editor-in-Chief has the sole and exclusive authority to accept/reject articles for publication, for which they bear full responsibility. Such decisions are taken at an Editorial Board meeting after consideration and public discussion of the statements of two expert-reviewers; if any author submits an appellation against the decisions, then one more expert-review of the article under consideration has to be prepared and discussed at the meeting.
— The journal’s editors must have no conflict of interests in respect of the papers and other materials they consider for publication.
— The only relevant criterion for accepting an article for publication is its scientific, and not any other value. At the same time, it should demonstrate a clear and explicit statement of its subject-matter, along with good literary style.
— The editors do not make substantive changes in the text without the consent of the author.
— The editors ensure respect for the copyright and the authors’ right to a name.
— If any mistakes or fallacies are revealed, the editors should be always willing to publish corrections or retractions. The journal uses the Crossmark service to promptly notify readers regarding publication amendments or retraction.
— The editors must ensure that the names of all and any peer-reviewers remain strictly confidential and are not disclosed to authors under any conceivable circumstances.
— The Editor-in-Chief bears full responsibility for everything that comes out on the pages of the journal, but he can publish material, with the concept or with certain arguments of which he does not agree, while recognizing the scientific or discussion value of this material. The editors must strive to meet the needs of both the readers and the authors, constantly improve their journal, ensure the highest possible quality of published materials, commit to and safeguard the principles of the freedom of expression and speech, adhere to the rules and norms of publishing ethics.